Life coaching evolved from an obscure service available to an elite few to a benefit offered by companies to their employees as a part of well-being programs at work. With that said, however, it is still largely misunderstood as to what it can do for you. This comprehensive list covers the main challenges that coaching can help with and brief information on the methods and approaches used by trained life coaches.
1. Understand Yourself
Your life coach will point out specific patterns in your language through the questions that uncover hidden behavioural drivers. Think of it as finally seeing your reflection in the mirror and observing parts of you weren’t aware existed. There is a lot that you can do with this newly gained understanding. For instance, if you know why have challenges with saving money you can change your behaviour and improve your life.
2. Increase Self Awareness
Your coaching experience will start with the life coach completing a personality profile such as enneagram or Myer Briggs. To understand how to get somewhere you need to know where you are currently at. Life coaches use a personality profile with reflection points to uncover parts of you that were always there but you didn’t know existed. Once you know about them there out in the open and will help you to how to have better judgment in challenging situations.
3. Increase Emotional EQ
The smartest people often make the dumbest mistakes. Think ruined relationships, career-obliterating Twitter posts and tantrums displayed by grown-up men. It is recognized now that to have a successful life having a high IQ is not enough. Knowing how to regulate your emotions or acknowledging that there is a better time and place to discuss a challenging topic worth more than high marks on the knowledge test. This is what understanding yourself and self-awareness can help you with.
4. Have Better Relationships
By understanding who you are and increasing your self-awareness, you will also benefit the people around you. You can recognise and walk away from toxic relationships to healthy authentic human connections. Learning to understand other people and knowing how to de-escalate a conflict instead of jumping into the fire can make you a better friend, parent or partner.
5. Build Confidence
From public speaking to running meetings at work confidence can help to either make it or break it. Life coaches work with the clients to help them understand the drivers behind the lack of confidence and find incremental ways how to gradually increase their confidence in a particular context. Working on one area where you need confidence will help with increasing your overall level of confidence in other contexts like job interviews or meeting new people.
6. Be Content With Who You Are
Our lives are filled with unrealistic images of happiness. Celebrities living a carefree perfect life, Instagram influences with ideal physic, and business owners who turned a side hustle into an overnight multimillion-dollar business. As humans, we can’t help but compare and find what we do not have in our lives. By accepting who you are finding beauty in your own imperfections and self-compassion you will become a happier person.
7. Make Dreams Come True
Before we can create something in our lives we need to dream about what our lives can be. Without dreams we would not land a man on the moon, fly across the Atlantic on the newly invented planes or climb Mount Everest. But having dreams is not enough. We also need a system that helps with creating incremental changes in our lives and can make this dream a reality. Coaches help with creating that personalized dream manifesting system.
8. Achieve Goals
Getting where you want to be by having a life coach on your side is easy. The coach will map out in the sessions specific actionable steps that you need to take to get closer to your goal. The life coach will keep you accountable through regular check-ins and follow-up sessions. This is why coaching is used in improving athletic performance.
9. Learn How To Overcome Challenges
When you know where you are today and where you want to be there is inevitably something that will be in your way. Becoming clear on your challenges is one step forward towards resolving them. Life coaches will help you to identify a specific challenge and create a series of actionable steps needed to overcome them. Think of the divide and conquer principle applied to the most daunting situations. Using this approach, you will learn a systematic way of breaking down obstacles into small solvable pieces.
10. Deal With A Fear of Rejection
Have you been in a situation where you wanted to talk to someone but a crippling sense of anxiety blocked you from even making a small step to speak with a person? In a lot of cases, this is a result of fear of rejection. This fear can take many forms from picking up a phone to make a sale to applying for jobs. It’s easy to get disheartened after being said no again and again. Life coaches can help with feeling the fear but doing it anyway until it becomes second nature.
11. Stop Procrastinating
Procrastination can be either a symptom of a bigger issue or just merely a need to get a little push toward the first step. Whatever the underlying issue is a life coach can help you to figure it out. Perhaps the task you have is not high enough on the priority list or maybe you are physically or emotionally drained to complete this step. This is your opportunity to stop beating yourself up about being a lazy person and hit some goals on a daily basis.
12. Get Fit And Healthy
While life coaches are not fitness instructors they are your ally on the side that can help with creating an exercise routine, motivate you to sign up with a gym or book the first session with a personal trainer. Having your life coach as an accountability partner has tremendous value. A trained life coach would also help you to build a repeatable system that will carry you forward once your coaching experience comes to an end.
13. Find Happiness
The search for happiness is deeply embedded in our modern society. Hundreds of books movies and songs were written about the subject yet the concept of finding happiness is shrouded in mystery. Life coaching can help you to understand who you are and what foundational blocks you need to be happy. The coach will help you with taking a stock of your life and identifying what needs your attention. For this purpose, I use the wheel of life exercise and questionnaires to find focus areas like wealth or relationships.
14. Build Daily Routines
The path to success lies behind repeatable small steps that can be done on a regular basis. This is a powerful machine that will get you anywhere you want. The daily routine is an example of a system that creates habits to improve the quality of life. These would be small habits linked together i.e. an exercise followed by meditation, a healthy smoothie, and planning for your day. You can add steps for your side hustle, personal or professional development for example recording a short video if you want to build an audience on a instagram or write a post on your blog daily.
15. Save Money
While a life coach cannot give you the winning numbers for the lottery they can help you in many other ways with predictable success. With the help of a life coach, you can do an audit of your spending habits, get rid of nonessential expenditures and create better money management habits. Working with a coach can help you to find your passion for a side hustle or job that pays more.
16. Meet New People
Loneliness just like cigarettes and obesity shortens human life. Unfortunately for all of us once we leave school and settled into our work life most of us no longer expand our social circles. As a result, the number of friends that we have is dwindling with people moving on with their lives and getting busy. By working with a life coach you can find new interests and get inspired to get out of your comfort zone. You can explore social groups in your city and gain confidence from your coaching sessions to venture out and meet new people.
17. Find a Better Job
Coaching is extensively used for career development. There are many great coaches that help me along the way in my career. A coach will help to gain a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, what you are passionate about and motivate you to find opportunities to develop your career. The job search requires preparation, confidence in the interviews, and the ability to approach and follow up with your potential employers. A coach can help with applying a systematic and structured approach in this challenging quest.
18. Stop Clinging To Your Past Relationships
I wrote in one of my earlier articles about the broken time machine that humans invented in their brains. We often travel to our past to revisit failed relationships and ruminate on what it could have been if things worked out. A life coach can help you to learn from past mistakes and move on with your life with a focus on a bright future full of possibilities.
19. Live In The Present Moment
Some of us a more future-oriented and others are past-oriented. Imagining the worst possible scenario for the future is equally bad as travelling to a regretful past. While it sounds simple living in the now isn’t the easiest concept to master. A trained coach can suggest exercises for grounding such as breathing techniques, situational awareness, or mindfulness that can help you to get out of the broken time machine into the now until this habit becomes a norm.
20. Learn To Deal With Toxic People
A toxic person is described as someone who injects us with negativity lasting days, weeks and sometimes years of life. It is not always easy to walk away from a toxic relationship. This is difficult when the person is your relative or close friend that you have known for some time. However, do you remember the old old saying that you are a sum of five people you surround yourself with? Eventually, you will inherit some of those habits or self-talk from your negatively charged friends. Using self-reflection and objectivity you can reshape the relationship, or simply limit your contact with this person to a great benefit in your life.
21. Gain Clarity
Decisiveness about our actions is attractive. Fearless leaders taking people on the journey to their vision are inspirational. You can become the leader of your own life with the help of a life coach. In your coaching sessions using your personality profile, 80-year-old man and wheel of life exercises you can gain clarity on where you want to be in the next 5-10 years.
22. Stop Making The Same Mistakes
By having regular sessions with your coach you will be able to identify blind spots and what Carl Jung called shadows. Recognising those will help you with accepting and owning the mistakes that you make. Going further you can use your coach as a sounding board to test and apply different approaches and change your behavioural patterns.
23. Get Motivated To Do Something With Your Life
My experience with Tony Robbins’ UPW (Unleash Potential Within) program inspired me to start looking for my why and purpose. A lot of us feel that we were born with gifts that are waiting to express themselves but sometimes we never get to discover them. A knowledgeable life coach can help you with discovering those talents and support you with first steps out of your comfort zone.
24. Go Back In Time To Support Your Younger Self
Everyone has life changing experiences that made them who they are today. Unfortunately, not all of those experiences are positive. Life coaches use a process called a timeline that helps with correcting that. It allows a person to revisit their past experience and give compassionate support to their younger version when they needed it.
25. Resolve Conflicts
Conflicts are an ever-present part of our lives. When we are not arguing with each other we often experience an emotional conflict on the inside. A life coach will walk you through a simple but effective exercise that can help you to get a different perspective on a situation charged with a conflict. This could be your colleague or family member that you just can’t agree with on something. After completing this exercise you may still be certain that your position is justified but will be able to communicate that in a compassionate manner. A different but similarly effective exercise is used to integrate conflicting parts of our personalities.
26. Understand Others Better
By understanding yourself and learning your personality type you will be able to recognize the same patterns in others. For my life coaching in Australia, I use the Enneagram system that can be used for all facets of life from work to personal relationships. A trained coach will guide you to approach situations with curiosity rather than judgment you using the opportunity to learn about other people in your daily interactions.
27. Live Compassionately
It is a mistake to think that we all operate from the same reality. While the laws of physics apply equally to everyone humans build a virtual map of the world in our brains which is unique for everyone. Hearing the word apple will have a different effect on different people some will imagine red or green fruit and some see the latest model of iPhone. By appreciating this fact and applying natural curiosity we can experience the emotional state of people that we come across in our lives.
28. Starting A Business
A lot of people have a dream to become their own boss however taking the first step into the unknown can be scary. After all, statistics tell us that 60% of businesses fail in the first three years. There is a lot involved in starting your own business and it can feel overwhelming. A coach can help with planning, finding and testing different business ideas and keep you focused on what’s important.
29. Lose Weight
Getting to a healthy weight and maintaining it is not an easy task. There is a whole industry with books, programs and youtube channels dedicated to this subject. Going on this journey alone takes a lot of effort. And this is one of the reasons why group classes are more popular when compared to solo gym workouts. While dietitians and fitness instructors do a great job at fixing the diet and designing workouts your life coach can help with that too. Coaches can keep you motivated and help to identify underlying causes of overeating. They can also help to bring it all together with the diet, workouts and daily routines to make you successful.
30. Become A Better Communicator
Learning about your and others’ personality types will help to choose the optimal communication style when speaking with this person. For example enneagram type seven personalities think big picture. When interacting with the style you will want to focus on high level context and not bog down in small details. On the other side, if you are style seven you would know about this style’s tendency to present information with a focus on the positive side rather than objectively show the pros and cons.
31. Make your New Year’s Resolutions Work
More than half of surveyed in 2020 Americans abandoned their New Year resolutions. This is a real issue for people who set goals in January wanting to start a new chapter in their life. You can get ahead of the pack with the help of a life coach. Learning how to achieve your goals using incremental actionable steps and systems makes ticking off your New Year’s resolution a breeze.
32. Replace Limiting Beliefs With Empowering
Our beliefs about the world, people and events shape our thoughts, emotions and actions. If we believe that the world is a dog-eat-dog place where everyone is for themselves then our reality will be an everyday fight for survival. For those who see the world as a place of abundance filled with never-ending opportunities for growth, it is a very different place. A trained life coach will help you to identify the limiting beliefs, find how they started and reframe them. They will also give you guidance on how to integrate the new beliefs into your existence such as surrounding yourself with inspiring people and using positive affirmations and daily reminders.
33. Create Self Care Habits
For those living stressful lives finding a bit of time in your busy day to look after the number one is important. As the saying goes you cannot pour from an empty cup. Dependent on your personality you may have been caring after others while neglecting yourself. This is not a winning strategy for long-term success. Working with a coach can help you to realize these simple truths and build an easy to follow self care routine. This could be as simple as scheduling your morning the morning walks, or telling your loved ones that you will be taking a self-care break and not answering your phone calls during this time.
34. Appreciate Yourself More
It is easy for us to compliment others on their wins. However, if someone asked you to write a few sentences about your achievements this would not be an easy task. This is a reason why resume and LinkedIn profile writers have a thriving business. We humans are not naturally good at blowing our own metaphorical trumpet. An exercise like gratitude journals or a victories list can help you to reflect on how amazing you are and the hard work you have done to be where you are today.
35. Become a Creator
Crafty algorithms and infinite scrolls of social media apps can suck you into the work vortex of cute cat videos for hours. I am certain however that all of us have gifts that we want to share with the world. Working with a life coach could be an opportunity for you to stop being a consumer and become a creator whether it’s your own youtube channel, blog or podcast.
36. Write a Book
Have you ever dreamt of becoming an author but did not know how to start? Using your life coach as a sounding board and an accountability partner you can set small goals like writing one page a day. At the end of the year, you will have 365 pages draft of your first book. The same goes for other creative outlets. A trained coach together with you will design a challenge where you will create content on a daily basis gradually building your skill.
37. Start Going To The Gym
I’m sure that a large number of failed New Year’s resolutions included this step. I myself was that person for many years until I discovered the power of habits and made workouts a part of my daily reality. A life coach can help you to create a habit that will become embedded in your personality and will keep you motivated to get off the couch, grab your gym bag and go no matter if it’s raining, snowing or your friends didn’t join you.
38. Get Into Running
If you dreamt of joining the millions of runners around the world your coach can help you to find the inspiration to put your shoes on and go for a run. A life coach acts as your dedicated personal accountability partner that will be there to check in on your wins and challenges. Your coach will work with you to integrate all of your well-being activities into one plan.
39. Learn To Meditate
Meditation can create calm in the middle of the storm, give your tiny refuge in the world of crazy, and teach you how to respond instead of reacting. You don’t need to be a yogi sitting in a cave for days and weeks to learn meditation. Books and videos on mindfulness make it available to everyone. With that said, however, there are still misconceptions about this practice. A trained life coach can help you with creating small daily routines that incorporate meditation and guide you through the learning process.
40. Be Comfortable With Being Alone
There is a lot that can be learned from others equally this can be said about learning from ourselves. Being alone does not equate to being lonely but it is not always comfortable. People often avoid this by surrounding themselves with groups of people or filling their weekends with parties and events. Alone can be your time for self-reflection leading to important realisations. A life coach can provide you with support in that process.
41. Read More Books
Working with a life coach also includes joining a personal development book club. A knowledgeable coach will include reading recommendations in between coaching sessions. These could be books or magazine articles that will let you explore the subject deeper or lend a different perspective. This can also be as simple as a life coach helping you to achieve the goal you set for the year by keeping you accountable.
42. Feel Inspired To Start Traveling
Completing a perfect life exercise in your coaching sessions will help you to create the ultimate bucket list of dreams. There is a good chance that exploring the world will be on that list. Packing your bags and hopping on the aeroplane if you never left your home country before can be a daunting task. As Nelson Mandela said it always seems impossible until it’s done. Your life coach will work with you to objectively see challenges that stand in the way of your world travels and find out how to solve them.
43. Become An Independent Thinker
An authentic life coach has one goal. He ultimately wants to be fired by his clients. Behind this goal is a drive to help clients with growing their own judgment so they can see their reality from different points of view as objectively as possible. With a sense of curiosity, you will start recognising that all beliefs and stories have underlying motives. This objectivity will allow you to not be fooled by someone else’s narrative and make objective decisions.
44. Be Happy Single
While coaching can help you to build better human connections it also helps with realising that true happiness is possible irrespective of circumstances and relationship status. A person living a wholesome life with friendships and purpose no longer needs to find their “second half” to be a happy person. Coaching helps to realise that and deal with the social pressure of being single.
45. Become Productive
Productivity is about using your time and energy in the most optimal way to achieve your goals. Whether it is your career, a side hustle, or simply running errands life coach can help you with completing the audit of your daily activities and identify time wasters or tasks that can be delegated. They can also help you by suggesting learning materials and building productivity habits.
46. Finding Your Purpose.
Having a purpose in life drives your activities towards the desired goal. It is your Why that defines What and How. People spend years figuring out their purpose. This search can cause anxiety and frustration. Working with your life coach can help you to gain clarity on what it is that you are looking for. Once you know your purpose it is easy to stick to your commitments and overcome challenges.
47. Be In Control
Being in control gives us power. Unfortunately, a lot of us waste time and energy trying to control things that we have no or limited influence on. This is the opposite of power and a good recipe for frustration. Your coach will help you to understand where you have full control and set realistic expectations.
48. Make Better Decisions
An ability to make quality decisions fast will open many doors in your life. This skill however is not easy to obtain and requires practice. An experienced coach can help you with creating a plan to increase your decisiveness and work with you through GROW model on big decisions.
I will be updating this list with articles on how life coaching can help with specific areas. Remember that each coach will have their own approach to working with you on these. Professionally trained coaches will be reliant on evidence-based methods used in the industry. Examples of that are GROW models used for athletic performance improvement or approaches from the field of positive psychology.
If you want to learn more about life coaching please check out other articles on my blog. You can also book a free no obligation session with me to get a feel for what coaching can do for your particular situation. I am a professionally trained life coach based in Sydney, Australia. I work with clients internationally using online web conference apps like Zoom. Send me a message using the contact page and I will get in touch with you.
In my life coaching sessions, I use time-tested conversational models, Enneagram personality profiles and questions that give my clients a different perspective on life challenges.